Pakistan to remain on FATF ‘greylist’
Pakistan received another extension on the “greylist”, as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary session on Wednesday decided to continue to keep all countries that were on the list under scrutiny for Terror Financing and Money Laundering until October 2020.
- However, Islamabad faced setbacks on other fronts, with the United States slamming its record on terrorism, including its failure to act against groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and received a U.S. veto against its joint effort with China to list an Indian engineer on the UN Security Council (UNSC)’s 1267 list.
- At the FATF plenary, held through videoconferencing, Pakistan was due for a decision on whether it would be kept on the “greylist” or downgraded to the blacklist for failing to meet the finance watchdog’s 27-point action plan on countering terror financing and anti-money laundering (CFT/AML) measures.
- Sources said the FATF, which had given Pakistan two extensions to comply with its action plan since October 2019, decided unanimously to postpone decisions on all countries under “increased monitoring” or the “greylist”, as well on “high risk jurisdictions”, as the “blacklist” is formally known, owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The FATF decision came even as the U.S. released its 2019 country report for terrorism, where the State Department said Pakistan had continued to “ serve as a safe haven” for regional terrorist groups.
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.
- The inter-governmental body sets international standards that aim to prevent these illegal activities and the harm they cause to society.
- As a policy-making body, the FATF works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas.
- With more than 200 countries and jurisdictions committed to implementing them.
- The FATF has developed the FATF Recommendations, or FATF Standards, which ensure a co-ordinated global response to prevent organised crime, corruption and terrorism.
- They help authorities go after the money of criminals dealing in illegal drugs, human trafficking and other crimes.
- The FATF also works to stop funding for weapons of mass destruction.
- The FATF reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and continuously strengthens its standards to address new risks, such as the regulation of virtual assets, which have spread as cryptocurrencies gain popularity.
- The FATF monitors countries to ensure they implement the FATF Standards fully and effectively, and holds countries to account that do not comply.